There has been some talk around ESPN.com and the local Kansas City airwaves recently about indispensable players. Most of these conversations have centered around trying to pick one player but in football, as we saw with Jared Allen, one player can’t do own.
OK, maybe Manning or Brady can but even those guys need someone to catch the ball.
This year, for the first time in a long time, it seems like the Chiefs may actually have more than one guy that they that is going to make plays for them.
Here is my list of 5 players the Chiefs can’t live without.
#1 Jamaal Charles
No question. JC took the Chiefs offensive performance from putrid to
still pretty bad almost average. He did it without almost no blocking and no real threat of a vertical passing game. Charles is the single most important player on the Chiefs roster. Sorry Matt Cassel.
#2 Tamba Hali
It is great to see Hali in this position because after the 2008 season he was not looking very valuable. Hali was a great second banana when Jared Allen was around but once “The Mullet” left town, Hali was forced handle all the pass rushing duties himself and he just couldn’t get it done.
Then Todd Haley and Scott Pioli switched the Chiefs to the 3-4 defense and things started looking really bad for Hali. He was moved to OLB in the scheme and he struggled mightily learning the new position early in practices. Then the season began and Hali found his mojo, leading the team in sacks and drawing praise from opposing coaches. Teams had to game plan for Hali, something they haven’t had to do for a Chiefs linebacker in a long time.
The heck of it is, Hali looks even better this preseason. I mean he looks really, really good. He was in the QB’s face nearly every time the opposing team dropped back to pass. 2010 could be a career year for Hali and for a defense that is looking to turn the corner, it had better be.
#3 Brandon Flowers
Flowers may just have been the steal of the 2008 draft. He stepped in and played well from day one and has since grown in to a very good corner. Most experts expect Flowers to take the next step this season. The Chiefs are expected to have a very strong secondary with Flowers, Carr, Arenas, Lewis and Berry. If Flowers can morph in to a shutdown corner in 2010, the Kansas City Chiefs could be very hard to throw on for a very long time.
#4 Dustin Colquitt
Sad but true, punter Dustin Colquitt is a player the Chiefs can’t live without. Colquitt is one of the best int he league and the Chiefs have seen more of him over the last few years than they’d like. The reason Colquitt is on this list isn’t just because he is one of the team’s most consistent and talented specialists, it is because of his value for 2010.
The Chiefs special teams unit looks like it could be one of the best in the league in 2010. With the speedy and elusive Javier Arenas/Dexter McCluster combo returning kicks, the Chiefs should often find themselves in very good field position on offense. If the offense can move the ball a little bit, the powerful legged Ryan Succop should be able to get them some points. If they can’t, however, Colquitt’s accuracy and ability to pin teams inside the 20 could make things much easier on the defense.
For a team not likely to win by weekly blowouts, field position is going to mean everything. Dustin Colquitt will give the Chiefs a fighting chance with every punt.
#5 Brandon Albert
Albert is the franchise left tackle. Matt Cassel is easily rattled, holds on to the ball for too long and has a propensity to fumble. Albert has got to protect Cassel’s blind side or things could get very ugly for the Chiefs very fast.
While he hasn’t reached the level most Chiefs fans would like to see, Albert has been serviceable as he enters his critical 3rd year. If Albert can get a little better, the Chiefs can focus on other needs next April. If he fails, the Chiefs will have to consider moving him to the right side, which will mean they will likely need to spend a high draft pick to replace him. Left tackles are in high demand and they don’t come cheap.
If the Chiefs want to get better in a hurry, they need Albert to hold strong at LT.
You’re up Addicts. Those are my 5. Who are the 5 players you think the Chiefs can’t live without?